Post Date: February 2023
While there is plenty of subtext to Gov. Greg Abbott’s state of the state address, the topline takeaways are the items designated as emergencies by the governor, qualifying them for consideration prior to the constitutional prohibition on passing bills during the first 60 days of the legislative session. We posted a lot of public opinion data as broad context going into the governor’s speech, but the unveiling of the much-anticipated emergency items enables a closer look at the public opinion context of the governor’s priorities in his efforts to shape the legislative agenda.
Greg Abbott will deliver the fifth State of the State address from San Marcos Thursday, February 16th, presenting the opportunity to direct public attention to his agenda and to send signals to the Legislature and other state leaders about his legislative priorities. The strongest indication of those priorities will be the subjects he designates as emergency items, which would exempt legislation so designated from the constitutional provision that prohibits both houses from passing bills during the first 60 days of the regular session.
Second Reading Podcast: A look at Gov. Abbott's political position ahead of his State of the State address
In the latest Second Reading podcast, Jim Henson and Josh Blank look at Gov. Abbott's polling numbers and political positioning going into this weeks State of the State address.
Estranged Bedfellows? Polling reveals evidence of trouble in the long marriage between business and the Texas GOP
The GOP pushback against business remains one of the underappreciated themes of the 87th Texas Legislature – and one of the most important subplots of the 88th as the legislature shifts into higher gear. From the blacklisting of companies branded with the scarlet letters E-S-G from doing business with the state to the slow-motion demise of Texas's Chapter 313 business incentive program, the tide of conservative legislation aimed at shaping business decisions has upended assumptions about the traditional “pro-business” orientation of Republican governance in the state. Data from recent University of Texas/Texas Politics Project polling suggest that elected Republicans’ efforts to mobilize partisan support with rhetoric and policies that punish business finds support among some Republican voters eager jump on the anti-“woke” dogpile in the short run. But it also activates tensions in the governing GOP coalition.
President Joe Biden is widely expected to use his third State of the Union address to tout legislative achievements in the first two years of his presidency while pointng to historically low unemployment – even as the Federal Reserve continues its efforts to wring price inflation out of an economy still on an uncertain trajectory – and political terrain that is just as uncertain. While the 2022 election proved to be a relative success for Biden compared to the usual (and widely predicted) first mid-term losses experienced by the party of incumbent presidents, Texas voters' assessment of him reflect the political landscape in a state which stayed firmly in Republican hands at the state level in 2022 after voting for loser Donald Trump by a margin of 52.1% to Biden's 46.5% in 2020.
In the latest Second Reading podcast, Jim Henson talks with Josh Blank about results from the 2023 Texas Lyceum Poll.